Are You a Good Candidate for PRK Surgery?

by: Advanced Laser | February 23, 2015

Woman with her head resting on her hands, her eyes unencumbered by glasses after successful PRK surgeryPRK, or photorefractive keratectomy, is a form of laser eye surgery that offers the same excellent results as LASIK but is often better suited to patients who are not good candidates for the latter procedure. This is because, unlike LASIK, PRK does not require the creation of a flap in the outermost layer of the cornea. Therefore, it is potentially ideal for patients whose corneas are too thin or irregular in their thickness to allow them to undergo LASIK surgery.

At Advanced Laser & Cataract Center Oklahoma in Oklahoma City, PRK candidates are carefully screened to ensure that the procedure is well suited to their cases. If you are interested in finding out whether PRK might be right for you, we encourage you to meet with one of our experienced eye surgeons at Advanced Laser & Cataract Center Oklahoma at your earliest convenience.

What is PRK?

PRK and LASIK are extremely similar procedures – in fact, they are identical except for the method used to access the underlying corneal tissue that is to be reshaped by the excimer laser. In LASIK surgery, this underlying tissue is accessed through a flap created in the outermost layer of the cornea, or the epithelial layer. Once the eye surgeon has made all the necessary alterations to the cornea with the excimer laser, the corneal flap is replaced and left to heal on its own without the need for sutures. Conversely, in PRK, the epithelial layer is removed altogether. Eventually, the epithelial cells will regenerate. While recovery from PRK is longer and less comfortable than recovery from LASIK, complications involving the corneal flap – the most common source of complications associated with LASIK surgery – are non-existent with PRK.

Criteria for PRK Candidacy

Because there is no need to make a flap in the cornea with PRK, many patients who would not qualify for LASIK are perfectly good candidates for PRK. Nevertheless, PRK is not for everybody. In order to be a suitable candidate for PRK, patients must:

  • Be at least 18 years old with a stable eye prescription for at least the previous year.
  • Have healthy corneas that are not drastically irregular in shape
  • Be free from eye diseases such as glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy
  • Not have any autoimmune diseases or any other disease that could interfere with healing from PRK surgery
  • Not be pregnant or nursing at the time of surgery
  • Be fully aware of the risks associated with PRK, including the possibility that they may continue to require glasses or contact lenses in order to see clearly after surgery
  • Be aware that a second treatment may be necessary in order to “fine tune” vision after the initial treatment

In general, PRK is a safe, time-tested surgery that has helped millions of patients worldwide to reduce or altogether eliminate their dependence on glasses and contact lenses to see clearly.

Learn More about PRK Candidacy

To discover whether you are a good candidate for PRK surgery, please schedule a confidential consultation with one of our esteemed eye surgeons by contacting Advanced Laser & Cataract Center Oklahoma today